Embarrassed by withdrawal from anti-drought group

Canada’s “quiet” withdrawal last week (ironically World Water Day) from United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (spread of drought) is shameful!

Canada’s “quiet” withdrawal last week (ironically World Water Day) from United Nations Convention to Combat Desertification (spread of drought) is shameful!

A total of 194 countries and the European Union are all part of the convention. Canada was one of the first countries in 1994 to sign on and now is the first country to walk away, further isolating Canada from rest of the global community; the withdrawal amounts to “a departure from global citizenship,” Robert Fowler, former Canadian ambassador to the UN.

It appears opting out of the Kyoto protocol, muzzling scientists and passing Bill C-45, which removes protections for the majority of our lakes, is yet another way the federal government handles environmental issues.

Canada’s contribution to the United Nations Convention to combat drought has been approximately $350,000 yearly. Surely we didn’t pull out of the convention because of the cost, when we can spend $10 million to rent polar bears, or $1 billion for a G8 two-day event — and we can’t afford $350,000 to study drought and help find solutions?!

All this at a time when as Maude Barlow, head of the advocacy group Council of Canadians, is quoted as saying, “Drought is a life and death issue for millions.” David Suzuki has said, “Nature pays no attention to boundaries.”

As a global citizen, I’m embarrassed to be a Canadian.

Shirley Challoner

Red Deer